"As leaders of the church, we believe that there are far more important issues that unite us than issues of sexual orientation." — African bishops in a statement published Nov 3.
African bishops speak out on terrorism, sexuality
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — African bishops have called on The United Methodist Church to confront global terrorism and hold the line on church teachings regarding human sexuality. Heather Hahn has the story.
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Bishops focus on adaptive leadership
Wings of the Morning changes lives in North Katanga
KAMINA, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — As a young pilot of 27, Gaston Ntambo flew a small plane from village to village, transporting sick people from villages to urban areas and critically needed drugs from urban areas to villages in the North Katanga Episcopal Area. African United Methodists shared the story of Ntambo’s ministry — Wings of the Morning — in the United States. The West Ohio Conference got on board, contributing $25,000 toward the project. The gift made a huge difference. Betty Kazadi Musau reports.
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Kentucky church celebrates $2.4 million gift
MURRAY, Ky. (UMNS) — Murray First United Methodist Church received a gift for All Saints Day: $2.4 million. The gift to the church’s endowment is a bequest from late members John and Rebecca Irvan. The Memphis Conference has the story.
Mission program to recruit ‘army’ in Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UMNS) — An army of young people will invade Florida next summer when the United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth visits the Gainesville area for a week of mission work. U.M. ARMY provides opportunities for youth, young adults and adult leaders to experience Christian growth through mission service, worship and fellowship. Mary Ann DeSantis reports for the Florida Conference.
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Vital congregations strategist offers advice
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (UMNS) — Churches should be a “movie trailer” for the kingdom of God if they want to make more disciples, said the Rev. Sara Thomas, Discipleship Ministries’ chief strategist for vital congregations. Thomas led workshops in the Wisconsin Conference as part of the conference initiative “Imagining Wisconsin Anew.” The conference reports.
Commentary: A metric worth measuring
SAVANNAH, Ga. (UMNS) — Many of the metrics United Methodist churches collect aim to offer a snapshot of how healthy the congregations are. But those numbers tend to focus inwardly, writes the Rev. Ben Gosden. He suggest churches also measure their community footprint.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Saturday, Nov. 7
Livestreamed workshop "Get Their Name: Grow Your Church by Building New Relationships" — 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CST at Manchester (Missouri) United Methodist Church. The Rev. Bob Farr, Missouri Conference director of congregational excellence, will lead a workshop based on his book of the same name. It will be streamed online. To watch workshop online.
Sunday, Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 15
Day1 special series “Faith & Science in the 21st Century" — The syndicated radio preaching program hosted by Peter Wallace will feature a range of speakers, including two from United Methodist seminaries. The Rev. Tom Long, recently retired from Candler School of Theology, will preach Nov. 8 on “Health and Healing/Death and Dying.” The Rev. Luke Powery, dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, will preach Nov. 15 on “Keeping the Conversation Going in Churches.” Along with the radio program sermons, brief videos featuring the speakers will be available on YouTube and at Day1.org. Details.